Glutino Decadent Chocolate Cake

You know how you try a product and it’s really good, so you try another product of the same brand.

What you don’t realize is that the high expectations you gained from trying the first product influences your feelings when you try a second product. And, in all honesty, it dooms the new product to fail from the start.

A long time ago, Mumika and I tried a gluten free chocolate cake box mix. Why? I don’t know. Probably to try something different. This was before gluten free became all the rage that it is today. It was one of those, it’s supposedly healthy, why not try it? What’s the worse that can happen?

It was the most god awful tasting chocolate cardboard posing as cake I had ever had. Flash foward a good few years, technology, and the time to create a better method of gluten free flower blending, and one would think there would be a better tasting cake.

One would think.

I ended up making cupcakes instead. The thought process was chocolate cake with a strawberry mascarpone cheese frosting, but that totally didn’t happen.

First and foremost, when making this box mix, the batter was extremely runny to the point that I feared it would end up being a hot soupy mess. Also, it had to be baked longer causing the cake to dry out. On top of that, the cake was extremely dense and not that fluffy awesomeness we all know and love of cake.

In a nutshell, it failed on so many levels that when it came to taste, I didn’t really care that much. It tasted better than chocolate cardboard but not by much.

Which means, I’ll have to experiment with different flours or flour blends before finding the perfect cake.

Grrrr……

I would try to make this again but I fear it would end the same causing me to waste money on it. Maybe I’ll try a different cake box mix next time.

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OMG I survived my first semester of grad school AND Slow Cooker Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Yesterday I officially finished my first semester of GRAD SCHOOL, round two.

This past week has been insane. I wrote two 15 paged research papers, I went to practicum orientation which was 9 – 5 and more like common sense than anything, I wrote a case conceptualization, and took two finals.

I was doing great, pacing myself with the two papers. I finished the first one on the 3rd at like 4AM and that was after scraping the first one because I didn’t have enough evidence to support my statements. I was in the middle of reading the 10 research articles for the second paper when I had to go to the orientation.

That’s when the ladies in my class made a bombshell. The final was posted. He posted it the night before and it was due Sunday by 11:59PM. When I went to open the final, I found 27 essays questions staring back at me. 27!!!!! I only had to do 20, but still. Took me 8 hours (I submitted it at 4AM), but I did it and on to the research paper I went. Shadow, was not happy with me that night. I forgot to take my night time so he sat on my lap making it impossible to work on my final until I took my insulin. Got to love that baby man.

I ended up finishing the research paper around 3AM the next day. It was horrible. I hit a brick wall around page 10 an there was no way around it. So I turned it in with 3 pages of content missing.

Sunday I took a day off, and didn’t even look at blackboard or my email.

WORST IDEA EVER.

When I went to download my final, it wasn’t even on blackboard. He had taken the final down. I had missed my final completely. I didn’t even know I had missed it because the due date was the 11th on the syllabus.

Panic attack in 5….4….3…2….wait, let email this girl and see if she can email me the final and I’ll just email it to the prof and beg for forgiveness in hopes that I’ll get a partial grade. Crisis averted. Bryan would be so proud of me not going into full panic meltdown.

When the prof emailed me back, I guess I wasn’t the only one that did that because the final was put back on blackboard and I was able to submit my test.

And that was how this semester ended. 2 finals, 2 15 paged research papers, an orientation, and a case conceptualization all completed in a week.

I think this college is trying to kill me.

But none of that mattered Monday, as I dumped the ingredients in the slow cooker, plugged it in, and turn the dial on high. Let the flavors mingle into tasty goodness over the next 4 hours.

 

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Slow Cooker Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 12 ounce cans of coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon ground ginger
2 coups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 lime, juiced

Directions

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl.

Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.

Add in the peas and stir in lime juice, cook for 30 minutes longer.

Serve with white rice.

Makes 8. WITH RICE. WITHOUT RICE.

The coco nut milk curdled. I read somewhere that it would, and it did. Does it matter, nope. Why? Still tasted amazing.

This isn’t authentic Thai coconut soup. And I didn’t expect it to be. But it sure as hell tasted yummy.

All the flavors came together creating a soup that smelled like heaven.

I would put more red curry in it if you like more heat to the sweetness of the coconut milk. It wasn’t crazy sweet, it just needed heat to bring the flavor up a notch.

When you pour the broth over the rice the rice absorbs it quickly and takes on those amazing Thai flavors. And then the chunks of chicken fall apart and have a faint coconut milk red curry taste to them.

So if you are in a rush and need to make something where you pretty much dump and are done in soup form, this is your soup.

The flavors are magical.

Thai Peanut Coconut Chicken

Bryan isn’t impressed with thai food. Which is odd because there was in a point in our relationship where Thai food was the bees knees and we couldn’t get enough of it. In fact, our rehersal dinner was at our favorite Thai place. I think he decided he didn’t like Thai after that place was replaced by a different Thai place that sucked. Therefore. causing him to deem all Thai places as boring and variations of the same thing.

Did I care about his feeling when I made this yummy thai inspired dish?

FUCK NO!

Supposedly this is a variation of Cheesecake Factory’s Bang Bang Shrimp and Chicken but without the shrimp. When I looked at the description I could see the similarities. Does it taste like it? I have no clue. When I go to cheesecake factory I go for the cheesecake. I think I’ve actually had a meal there once.

But this recipe is yummy, and that’s all that matters. Also, the original recipe was enough for 4 serving and I just wasn’t having that. I’m sorry but one chicken breast for four people makes no sense to this diabetic.

So I tweaked it and added garlic.

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Thai Peanut Coconut Chicken
2
 tablespoons olive oil
6 thinly sliced chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups sliced carrots
3/4 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup frozen peas

Directions

In skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat

Add in chicken and cook until mostly cooked thoroughly

Add in carrot, garlic, and onion and sauté until tender..

Add curry, salte and pepper

Coat in flour and cook another minute.

Add in chicken stock.

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. The sauce will thicken a little.

Stir in coconut milk, peanut butter, and sugar. Simmer 5 minute.

Stir in heavy cream and peas. Cook until peas are tender.

Makes 10 servings.

Told you I tweaked it.

This smelled heavenly in my kitchen. And then I ate it and it tasted heavenly in my mouth. The curry. The carrots. The coconut milk. The peas. The peanut butter. Oh my goodness.

The sauce tasted amazing with the right amount of spices and just a hint of creamy coconut and nuttiness from the peanuts.

I felt like I was in a Thai kitchen in Thailand eating yummy goodness with the ocean behind me on a nice hot summer afternoon.

I ended up usin creamy peanut butter which I think worked beter than if I had used chunky. You want the hint of peanuts in the sauce, not literally a chunk of peanut in your mouth.

I think the best part about it was it literally took me about 35 minutes to make. So it literally takes the same amount of time it takes to cook rice in the rice cooker. Perfect if you are in a rush or just lack time in general.

And of course, you must serve this yumminess on top of heaping pile of fresh hot and steamy rice.

Fried egg

I know what you’re thinking. Really? I know how to make fried eggs.

But do you?

Do you really?

It’s so easy to screw fried eggs up. The whole point of frying an egg is to cut through the egg whites to that still liquid yolk. Overcooking is pretty much the downfall and ruin of a fried egg.

You might as well boil a bloody egg if the yolk hardens. You want that bright yellow liquid goodness to drip over everything it’s put on top of. Toast. Mushrooms. Pasta. Bulgogi. Hash browns. A Vietnamese bbq pork sandwich….I could so go for Nobi’s right now.

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Fried Egg

1 egg
dash of salt
dash of ground pepper
dash of paprika
1 tablespoon oil

Directions

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Crack an egg open, be careful not to puncture the yolk, and dump the egg into the oil.

Season the egg with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Once the edges of the egg white start to brown, carefully flip over.

Cook for about a minute and then plate.

Makes 1.

Welcome to fried egg happiness.

If the flip doesn’t go as planned, don’t sweat it. As long as it is yolk down, everything thing will be okay.

I really love how the paprika and the pepper gives a little heat and bite to the egg.

You can place the egg on anything and know when you cut into it, the angels from heaven will sing beautiful songs as the yolk runeth freely covering everything in sight as it descends to the bottom and hits the plate.

I really should be a poet.